This week's guest on Open Mic is Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, a genomics and biotechnology researcher at the University of California, Davis. Her work in animal breeding was inspired by Dr. Norman Borlaug's efforts to resolve hunger issues with genetically engineered plants. Van Eenennaam believes science has been left out of the debate over how foods should be labeled saying nutritional benefits are more important than how ingredients from plant varieties were bred. Van Eenennaam notes a difference in society's acceptance of biotechnology in medicine versus that in food production where genetic engineering may provide the only sustainable solution to feeding a growing planet.
This week's guest on Open Mic is John Weber, President of the National Pork Producers Council. In this interview, Weber speaks to opportunities and challenges on the horizon for the nation's swine industry. While global demand for protein, especially pork, continues to grow, Weber and members of the NPPC adamantly support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement to grant greater market access to growth markets. At home, Weber says pork producers face challenges from the USDA's pending GIPSA proposal, the EPA on WOTUS rules, the country's preparedness to infectious animal disease, the industry's effort to further reduce antibiotics in swine production and a domestic inventory that could soon meet or exceed the nation's slaughter capacity.
This week's guest on Open Mic is Carl Casale, President and CEO of CHS Inc. The cyclical pendulum has brought the ag industry from record highs to lows not seen since the early 1980's. In this week's interview, Carl Casale shares a view that the industry hasn't yet seen the bottom of the income swing. Despite the current challenge, Casale shares a bright view for the next generation of the industry with tremendous turnover in producer demographics. Casale says CHS is pro-trade but believes the U.S. must step up spending on infrastructure to stay competitive.
This week's guest on Open Mic is Chris Novak, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. In this week's interview, Novak shares the global vision of the NCGA's most recent strategic planning process and the Washington legislative agenda including continued work on a national GMO food labeling standard. He also reacts to negative opinions on global trade from the campaign trail and shares why the Renewable Fuel Standard is about giving consumers better environmental choices and not limiting the auto industry's choices to meet new economic and environmental standards.
Our guest this week on Open Mic is Colorado U.S. Senator Cory Gardner. With a family farm machinery business in operation for over a century, Senator Gardner shares his experience with the cyclical nature of the agriculture industry and the need for farmers to have access to new advances in technology to remain productive and profitable. In the discussion this week Gardner shares thoughts on the EPA and their new water rules and his view that water issues should be resolved at the state level. The Colorado Republican shares his view of the Endangered Species Act, the need for continued investment in the highways and rail lines of our nation and why he supports free trade agreements.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator John Boozman. As the U.S. Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week, the Arkansas Republican expects much attention will be devoted to the appropriations process with a view of accomplishing the major work on spending bills before the end of the fiscal year. In this week’s interview, Senator Boozman shares his view on crafting federal rules on GMO food labeling, funding sources for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the need for fair trade agreements and calls for flexibility in child nutrition standards. Senator Boozman says the appointment of a Supreme Court nominee adds to the agenda of the race for the White House in 2016.